Interactivity And The Audience : Interactivity Essays

1013 Words Mar 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Interactivity and the audience
Interactivity theory focuses on the audience instead of content or a particular medium (Rafaeli, 1986). The theory initially explained how web-based communication was occurring in online chat rooms (Rafaeli, 1986). As technologies changed, those conversations now occur not only in chat rooms, but also on social media, media websites, and numerous other locations on the web. Interactivity theory was developed because previously most media theories assumed a passive audience; however, the Internet allows the audience to take active roles and even engage in agenda setting (Chung & Nah, 2009). The theory explains new media functions and considers communication with varying degrees of interaction (Rafaeli, 1988).
In that vein, there are various degrees of interaction. The theory reviews low-level interaction, which consists essentially of interpersonal conversations moved online, and moves toward what is classified as full interactivity (Rafaeli, 1986). Full interaction does not simply require a response from both sides in online community, but instead needs continued back and forth conversations and requires those involved reference earlier statements as part of a continuing conversation (Rafaeli, 1988). Interactivity can be a process created by media outlets, for various reasons, yet it can also be demanded by the audience. The role of the audience is key in the development of interactivity (Rafaeli, 1988). The audience is pushing the movement…

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